This is the official announcement heralding the foundation of the Asatru Folk Assembly from “The Runestone” Winter 1994 issue #10.

“ASATRU: Time for a Stand!by Steven A. McNallen

Controversy …again!

Here at THE RUNESTONE we’ve tried to steer clear of the squalls that periodically ruffle the waters of our little movement, but there comes a time when even the most reticent must speak. Now, as the sun readies itself to turn in the sky at Yule, the time for plain speaking – and for new beginnings – is upon us.

Let me try to summarize a very complicated situation in a small space: Since the demise of the AFA in the 1980’s, modern Asatru has been split into two camps which, while not exactly warring, have certainly been in competition with each other. One, the “Folkish” faction, has been made up of Asafolk who feel that there’s an inherent connection between their biological inheritance – their race, to put it bluntly – and their religion. There have always been a few steriotypical “racists” in their ranks, but most are good-hearted people who feel that the physical and spiritual cannot be put into separate boxes, and who want to further the interests of their European-descended kin.

The other group , or “affirmative action Asatru”, holds that race and religion are unrelated. In their view, on can adopt a religion much as one joins a secular organization, or chooses a fashion of clothing. some of the individuals under this banner are raving leftists motivated by hatred for everything White, but most are just decent people who, quite understandably, are put off by the looniness of some racists.

The Asatru Free Assembly was folkish in it’s orientation. When we dropped out of the scene, the Asatru Alliance picked up the torch at our request, and carried on. At about the same time, the Ring of Troth – definitely NOT folkish – began to organize. Until recently, the two groups maintained a balance of power, each speaking for it’s own beliefs.

It seems this is no longer the case. Reports from the last Althing tell of aggressive inroads by the Ring of Troth into what has hitherto been folkish territory. To make a long story short: (1) There is now a safe sanctuary for affirmative action Asatru, namely, the Ring of Troth. (2) The The Asatru Alliance, formerly the folkish bastion, is now an ideological battle-field. (3) There is no reliable stronghold for folkish Asatru, except in scattered kindreds across the country. The situation has tilted drastically out of balance.

The time has come for a group which will clearly and uncompromisingly advocate the folkish viewpoint. It can’t be the old Asatru Free Assembly, because we can’t relive the past. But it can be an Asatru FOLK Assembly, taking the best of the old AFA and presenting it in a stronger, wiser, more mature form. I am now calling for the formation of such an organization.
What will be the guiding principles of such a group? Here are some of the points that are especially important to me:

* Asatru is the indigenous religion of the northern Teutons. As such, it is one expression of a common European spirituality which unites all the far-flung sons and daughters of Europe, weather Germanic or Celtic, whatever their nation of origin.

* Asatru springs from our nature as people of European Ancestry. It is not just what we BELIEVE, it is what we ARE. Thousands of generations of shared evolution in a similar environment have produced a unique physical, mental, and spiritual pattern, and Asatru is its religious manifestation. Thus, Asatru is intimately connected to the interests and destiny of our people.

* As a logical consequence of the folkish viewpoint expressed above, we recognize the validity of other indigenous religions and respect the right of other peoples to achieve their own interests. We want a world of TRUE diversity, one with a mosaic of peoples and cultures. each working out their own fate. We are not “anti” anybody – but woe to those who aggress against us!

* Asatru honors the past while reaching for the future. We do not live in the 10th century. The traditional costumes, artifacts, and skills of our Teutonic ancestors have great cultural and spiritual value for us, but we must not be imprisoned by them. Asatru is not a historical reenactment society, it is a living religion which, a thousand years from now, will have spread throughout the Galaxy!

* Although Asatru has sober, Industrious, and scholarly sides, it must remain a home for those who treasure zest, vigor, color, panache, and fun. We are not monks or ascetics; our Gods laugh, and so should we.

What will the Asatru Folk Assembly do? We will of course present the folkish viewpoint, but beyond that, we will form kindreds, train our own clergy, start guilds, and organize systems to help each other. Ultimately, we will grow into a new tribe, or network of tribes, and gain international recognition as such.

The question might well be asked, how will this effect our relations with the Asatru Alliance?

I have deep respect and admiration for Valgard Murray, and I am aware of the incredible job he has done and the vast personal sacrifices he has made. Many other members of the Alliance have been my friends and co-workers over the years, as well. My intention is to work with, and within, the Asatru Alliance unless it becomes plain that folkish Asatru is not welcome or comfortable there. I have absolutely no desire to compete with the Alliance in any way. In fact, the Alliance, assuming it remains a place where we can speak our beliefs, can only benefit by this burst of Asatru activity.

A decision has been made to start a bold endeavor, and indeed, action has begun. Individual kindreds have stated they would become part of the new AFA, and at least two guilds are ready to come online. But it is you, Asafolk, who must either ratify my move or tell me I am wrong. If there is to be an Asatru Folk Assembly, it must have your support. IF YOU LIKE THE KIND OF ASATRU I HAVE OUTLINED IN THE FIVE POINTS SPECIFIED ABOVE, WRITE ME. Send me ideas, give me input, and tell me you want to be part of such a venture. Better yet, write and tell me how you want to participate!

The runes of our fate are cast. Dare we pick them up?”

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